Monday, February 15, 2016

The howl

The howl of immense pain.
The howl of great loss.
Once that howl of sorrow has emitted from your body, you recognize it in others immediately... even if you don't know the details, you know the cause.
Loss of a loved one.
Loss that despite the howling sorrowful tears, they will not be coming back...
But at the time, you can't think of that... all you can do is howl like a savage animal that's crying out into the night.

I heard that howl today.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I almost didn't go towards the source because... I already knew.

But being someone who has had that sound come out of me before, I couldn't turn a deaf ear and run... Despite desperately wanting to.

So... I turned the corner to find my friend, C.  Her granddaughter is due this week... and I knew.
Without words, I knew the howl of loss.

I walked towards her and wrapped my arms around her and hugged. A hug so tight I thought I would crush her... and she sobbed. Such powerful, forceful sobs that I knew if I let go, she would fall to the ground.

In between the uncontrollable shaking and howls, she breathed out, "No heartbeat. Why? Why?? I don't even know what I will say to my son and his wife."

I continued to hold her and tell her that there are no words.  She will go and be a mom, and hold and hug her child like no one but your mom can.

My heart breaks for her... Not only for her loss, but because she too will hear the howl and know it's meaning from now on.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A mirror reflects your appearance. Your heart reflects your soul.

Some parts of my childhood I keep buried.
Somehow though, teaching finds a way to bring things to the surface that I don't think about or haven't thought about in a VERY long time.

This morning my little friend that comes and checks in with me, was mad. Like boiling mad.
She wouldn't hug me or look at me.  This anger was directed at me because yesterday I made her follow directions when she didn't want to.

So, even though she is required to come see me in the morning, she didn't want to be here.
Every time I tried to say something, she responded with "I don't care!"

I got down to her level.  Without out even thinking, something deep within me came out and said, "I get it. I used to be you.  I used to say 'I don't care' because it is a whole lot easier to tell people that you don't care... and to put up a wall then to let them in... because if you let them in, they might just disappoint you... and let you down.  So, instead we say we don't care... but really... we really, really do care!"

As soon as it came out, it took me back.
I think back to my early teenage years when I was SO mad at my mom that my family wasn't "normal" because of my parents' divorce... and I would yell, "I don't care!" any time she would give the same explanation as to why we weren't around my dad.  Don't get me wrong... my mom made the right choice to leave an abusive marriage, but being a "Daddy's girl" clouded my judgement many times and left me very, very mad.

Throughout the years, I have repeated those words many many times, "Whatever. I don't care." and I learned to keep a stone face. I felt like giving up emotions in front of someone else made me feel like I lost something to them...

Then later, alone, I would cry and scream, and ask "Why?!!" even though no answers would come.

So, yeah... "I don't care" carries a lot more then I ever thought about until today.

She waited until I hugged her good-bye.  She didn't hug back, but she was definitely showing that she DID care.